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What is an Electric Hoist?

An electric hoist is a piece of lifting equipment that is used to lift heavy or difficult loads, usually up to around 50 Tonnes. They are used in many different sectors and for many different applications, such as rigging on ships or lifting on a construction site. They are generally used when the load is large, bulky or difficult to lift and requires a more robust solution than a manual hoist.

What are the benefits of an electric hoist? 

An electric hoist can be used to lift much bigger loads, giving you greater flexibility on site. These are some of the key benefits:

  • Increased productivity. An electric hoist will allow people on site to carry out more work, in a shorter space of time, because it no longer has to be done by hand.
  • Safety. It is much safer to life a heavy loads with an electric hoist. People working on site won’t have to move loads by hand, or by using a manual hoist. This improves health and safety.
  • Financial benefits. Whilst an electric hoist will cost more than a manual one, it will allow you to be much more productive. This means you can make more money and make better use of your labour.
  • Good brands. There are lots of good, reputable, well-known brands that make electric hoists. These include Stahl, Yale, GIS and Donati.

Different Types of Electric Hoist 

There are two main types of electric hoist – the chain hoist and the wire rope hoist. Both have their own advantages for different applications and you can buy quality hoists in both versions.

Electric chain hoists are extremely hardy and robust. They can be successfully used in all kinds of weather conditions and will stand up to a great deal of wear and tear. They also tend to be cheaper than wire rope hoists, making them more economical. They can have duel speed controls and limit switches to control the hook path. They might also be fitted with a radio remote control function to make the hoist easier to use and operate.

Wire rope hoists allow for quick lifting speeds and a great deal of accuracy. The way in which they lift is different to an electric chain hoist – the cable is wrapped around the whereas a chain hoist is attached differently. The chain hoist operates in much the same way, and also has the option of remote controls for safer usage. They will usually take up to around 30 Tonnes.

Buying an Electric Hoist 

An electric hoist should only ever be purchased from an approved manufacturer or supplier. Never buy from third parties without having the equipment checked over first. It is safest to buy a chain hoist from a supplier who is known in the industry, and if you need to save money on your purchase, to buy one second hand. Have the equipment thoroughly checked on a regular basis once you have purchased it – see if the supplier also offers crane and lifting equipment servicing packages for future upkeep.

How Good are Electric Cars for the Environment?

Electric cars are becoming more readily available and are now increasingly popular in the UK. It may be the case that by 2040, all cars have to be electric, if government plans go ahead. Are they really that much better for the environment?

There is no doubt the electric cars are much better than diesel cars. Diesel has had some very bad press recently, especially after people were told that they should be buying diesel cars to help the environment. This is now very much not believed to be the case and people are having to pay more to drive diesel cars into London and to park them in some boroughs.

If you have an electric car, it is certainly going to be better for the environment. Electricity still mostly does not come from renewable sources, but there is the potential to make it more renewable as fossil fuels run low. This means electric cars could serve us well into the future.

How Much of a Difference Can Solar Panels Make To You?

Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular all the time, largely due to concern for the planet, the environment and the need to reduce our carbon footprint. It’s becoming more common for new domestic properties to be built with solar panels already fitted, but how much can it benefit you to install them in your existing property?
The evidence is overwhelmingly in favour of solar panels being an extremely efficient tool in domestic energy production. A 4kWp system (which is usually the standard size of an installation) generates around 3,800 kWh of electricity each year in the South of England. This isn’t far off a typical household’s energy consumption, so it could be enough to account for all of your electricity. Of course, some areas receive more sun than others, but even in places like Scotland where energy generation will be less, you can still make 3,200 kWh, which is more than three quarters of the typical household usage.
Your main consideration will be where to place your solar panels, as you’ll need to be able to capture as much sunlight as possible for the utmost efficiency. Some roofs will be more suitable than others because of the direction they face in, but most households would be able to get reasonable use out of a solar panel system. Even if they’re not going to be able to take you completely ‘off grid’, they can make a very worthwhile contribution to reducing your household bills, and what’s more, you’ll be reducing your carbon footprint whilst doing so.

Using a Micro-CHP System in Your Home

Micro-CHP stands for micro combined heat and power. It is a system which is able to generate heat and electricity at the same time, using one energy source to do so. It works with mains gas or LPG, and makes use of this in its energy production. Whilst it isn’t completely carbon neutral, it is still considered to be low carbon, because it is a more energy-efficient method of production than simply using fossil fuels and national grid electricity to meet all household needs.

Micro-CHPs are easy to use in a domestic setting. They are a similar size to a standard boiler, and can be either wall hung or freestanding depending on your preference. They’re a relatively new technology for home use, though they’ve been available for commercial use for a number of years.

It can be very cost-effective for you to install a Micro-CHP system in the long run. Your energy bills will be lower, and if the system generates enough energy, you can take advantage of a feed-in tariff to earn some money from it.

Biomass Energy Use Within the Home

Biomass refers to living organisms which can be burnt to provide energy. Some of the most popular biomass sources are short rotation coppice, willow, poplar, oilseed rape and various types of grasses.

Most importantly, the process is fundamentally different to burning fossil fuels because biomass is a sustainable, renewable method of energy production. The process is sometimes considered to be carbon neutral – this is to do with the fact that trees and plants take carbon dioxide out of the air whilst growing. However, there has been a lot of debate on this topic and the conclusions are not definitive. Therefore, the easiest way to make the process as environmentally friendly as possible is to replant, replenishing the trees and plants which are being used as fuel.

There are a number of ways to use biomass energy within homes – sometimes people are already doing so without even realising. The simplest is to use a log burner or stove to heat your home, as this can be an attractive design feature as well as being environmentally friendly.

Stoves can also be fitted with a back boiler which will heat water. The boiler burns wood in the form of logs, chips or pellets, and can generate heat and water for the whole house. This heating method can also result in significant cost savings.

Sometimes, more than one property is communally heated using a biomass boiler system, though this is more common in some countries than others. Boilers to burn wood tend to be larger, so they can be useful for heating groups of properties like blocks of flats.

Large-scale use of biomass energy has its downfalls as well as its advantages, but it’s a simple and pleasant way to heat individual homes, as well as being cost effective.